Any guitar that is below the $500 mark is not a high-end guitar. If you want a high-end one, you would have to spend more than this amount. However, that does not mean that you should despise these lower-priced ones. You can still find an acoustic guitar that could sound even better than a four-figure priced guitar. By the way, some professionals play guitars under this range, and there is no harm in buying such whatsoever.
Besides, acoustic guitars below the 500-dollar mark are suitable for a particular market. For instance, if you have a child or a beginner, buying such a low priced instrument is ideal because it assists them to know how to hold basic chord shapes, strum, and learn all the basic techniques that one needs to understand before they can outgrow the instruments.
The investment is also considerable since, for a beginner or a child, all they want is to learn. And if they later feel that they want to quit, you will not feel like you lost your money.
Now, you will find acoustic guitars with different appeals, materials, sound qualities, shapes, and sizes. Choosing the best one will depend on your needs and techniques you would like to improve or achieve as you look forward to becoming an elite player.
That is why we want to explore the ten best acoustic guitars under $500 in this article. We had to research amongst hundreds of guitars before we come up with the list.
Hence, be sure you will have a good instrument if you buy any guitar we review in this article.
Top 10 Best Acoustic Guitars Under 500 Dollars 2021
1. Taylor GS Mini Mahogany GS Mini Acoustic Guitar
The Taylor GS Mini is a great acoustic guitar for travelers. It is an ideal gift for any beginner and elite players. That is why this guitar is widespread globally.
The GS Mini has an attractive look from the body to the head stalk. It comprises of a 23 ½-scale guitar with a matte 2.0 finish that adds to its appeal. The back and sides are mahogany made and have a layered Sapele bracing system.
It also uses ebony (genuine African) fingerboard and a 1-11/16 inch nut. Hence, the neck is suitable for all players.
Other than being attractive, the GS Mini offers high tonal quality for all players. There are no dead frets, and the intonation is excellent. It is also a mid-action guitar; hence, you do not have to apply extra pressure when strumming or picking the individual strings.
If you are a constant traveler and you have been looking for a portable guitar to tag along, then this would fit your needs. The guitar is lightweight. Any player will enjoy this guitar since it provides non-compromised sounds.
2. Yamaha Storia III Acoustic Guitar
The Yamaha Storia series inspires you to become just better. You will find three installations in this series. All of them are great instruments, but for now, we will only look at the Storia III acoustic guitar.
The Storia III features significant characteristics that any music lover will admire. It comes with an all-mahogany top from its body, back, sides, and neck. On top of it is a natural finish, which gives it a rustic look. You can also find it in several other colors.
You can use this acoustic guitar in different settings. In my opinion, this is an excellent instrument for travelers, practicing at home, and for live performance. The sound quality is just okay, but it is suitable for songwriters who prefer mid ranges. Nevertheless, the sound produced is of high quality, and you are going to love it.
Storia III is an excellent guitar for all players. You can use it as a beginner, intermediate, and expert level as well. Once you start playing this guitar, it would be difficult to outgrow since everything about it is just superb.
3. Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar
Nobody thought that an excellent guitar like this one would come from North America. The Seagull S6 acoustic guitar comes with an exceptional feature that will please anyone that loves music and pleasant sounds.
Everything on this guitar is attractive since it has excellent specs. The materials used offer two things. One, they make the guitar durable, and two; they ensure that they provide a unique sound for all music genres.
The Seagull S6 acoustic guitar features a cedar top, a maple neck, wild cherry with a faded blue stain, a rosewood bridge and a compensated saddle.
The sounds that this guitar produces are phenomenal, and nothing is a miss. It could be a solution to your acoustic needs since it is a high action guitar. You will be able to hear all the frequencies, including the highs, lows, and mid ranges. Besides, everything is balanced.
With the Seagull S6, the head stalk looks differently. It is thin to keep the strings from breaking. That means if you like the high punch, then this is possible. It also fits any playing style, including the fingerstyle technique.
4. Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
If you are looking for a guitar that does not compromise on the look and sound quality in a low-budget, then the FG800 is the guitar that you should buy. The guitar belongs to the FG series and is a significant improvement of the FG700.
Many experts and reviewers recommend this guitar for both beginners and elite players. The FG800 presents a guitar with no compromise on structure, especially on the top. It is a solid top, which is rare to find on this price range. Therefore, the instrument should cost more.
Additionally, the materials on the back, sides, and back of the neck are mahogany. The neck has an additional finish for smooth movement along the fretboard.
Besides the fantastic sound quality produced by this instrument, Yamaha did well to ensure that the sound this instrument produces is uncompromised. It uses steel strings, and the perfect craft on the neck ensures that there is no buzz or dead frets.
The FG800 is a low action guitar, per se. You do not need to apply too much pressure on the strings unless, of course, you want to cut the strings.
To accentuate the sound quality, Yamaha added an added X bracing to ensure that the sound produced is rich and loud enough.
The reason this is one of the most recommended guitars in the under $500 range is that any player can use it. With its rich, tone, and quality, the guitar adapts to almost all-playing styles, which means you are going to play this guitar for a very long time.
5. Yamaha CSF1M VN Parlor Size Acoustic Guitar
The Yamaha CSF1M acoustic guitar offers inspiring tones for the player. At first glance, you might think that this is a classical guitar, but it is not. It is also not full size, neither is it a ¾- inch guitar.
If you want a guitar that you can carry everywhere you go, then this is the guitar to purchase. The CSF1M acoustic guitar comes with a gig bag to facilitate this. The guitar’s body features Sitka spruce top and laminated mahogany back, sides, and a urea nut. Its fingerboard comprises of 20 frets and is 34mm lesser to the full size.
When you hear this guitar play, you might think that this is a full-size guitar. It provides vibrant and balanced tones. The neck also offers the comfort you require when playing this guitar. You can reach the entire fret effortlessly.
Though it is loud enough, Yamaha added an extra passive pick up inside. You can connect it to an amplifier when playing in a vast hall. However, the pickup does not have any controls, which is also a benefit to many. It means you will also not need to buy a battery.
6. Martin LX1E Little Martin Solid Sitka Spruce/Mahogany HPL Acoustic Guitar
The Martin LX1E is a similar version to the LX1, only that it has an electronic pickup. Beginners, experts, and travelers can enjoy this guitar since it offers everything to fit all their needs.
This acoustic guitar comes with a Sitka Spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a satin finish. It also features a funky design on the neck, which enhances its look. Martin LX1E is a ¾-scale length acoustic guitar, which makes it ideal for people with small hands and for children too.
Its bundle also features a padded gig bag, which protects the guitar from damage.
Do not despise its size; the LX1E produces rich and balanced tones that will inspire you to practice more and play better. Everything from the highs, lows, and the mid-tones are equalized.
The guitar is loud enough; hence, you do not need to amplify it. You also do not need to use in-ear monitors since it is audible during a live performance. In such a situation, however, you will require the in-built pickup system inside the guitar. It enables you to balance the sound to your preference. It also has a tuner, which is ideal for beginners.
All musicians will love this guitar. Beginners can be sure that they will be using this guitar for a long time since it is durable and offers excellent sound qualities. It is also perfect for travelers who want to keep practicing when they are abroad.
7. Fender CD-60S Solid Top Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
The Fender CD-60S is one of the unique dreadnought acoustic guitar produced by Fender. It comes with notable features to enhance playability for all players. Though this specific one is suitable for left-handed players, you can find right-handed options too.
The acoustic guitar comes with notable features that all players will love. First, it features a spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a rosewood fingerboard. It also comes with a rounded neck, which means it will be easy to reach every part of the fretboard easily.
Besides that, the guitar comes with two strap buttons on each side of the body, a laminated finish to improve its appeal, and sealed tuners to keep the guitar in tune. The guitar is ready to play as soon as you unbox it.
The Fender CD-60S is an audible instrument. Whether you are playing indoors or outdoors, this guitar will soothe everyone with its signature sound elements. Its X bracing also contributes to this.
Additionally, since it has metal strings, you are sure that you will be producing balanced and rich tones that everyone will love. Ensure, though, that you tune the guitar before you start playing it.
You will enjoy this guitar, whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert player. Beginners can also save some money on buying accessories since it comes with everything that you need. From digital tuners, extra pair of strings, three guitar picks, an instructional DVD, and a gig bag are available in the package.
8. Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
The Ibanez AW540OPN is enough proof that you do not need to go for high priced guitars. It comes at an affordable price, and with other great features added to it.
If you love vintage finishes and looks, then this acoustic guitar is what you need. The entire body, back, and sides comprise of natural mahogany and a natural finish added to it. The fingerboard is either rosewood or Ovangkol. Note that both of them work great.
The head stalk features open sealed diecast tuners, and it comes with a compensated bridge to keep the intonation in check.
If you prefer low action dreadnought guitars, then this is the instrument to buy. With excellent intonation, the guitar can adapt to any playing style, whether it be solos, strumming, or fingerpicking. There are also no dead notes whatsoever.
The AW540OPN can fit into any set up effortless, whether you are in a camp, hike, or a hall set up.
If you are a constant traveler, then this guitar will accompany you anywhere you go. The guitar is lightweight, and because of its size, it will be easy to carry it around. Also, players of all levels can enjoy the guitar. You can also gift your child if you would like them to have an instrument that they can play for a long time.
9. Fender Squier Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
The Fender Squier Dreadnought guitar is an excellent addition to your music arsenal. Any beginner who wishes to expand his guitar knowledge should have this guitar since it comes with exciting features that you will like.
It comes with an excellent body construction that you would mistake it to be a high-end acoustic guitar—everything from the head stalk, fingerboard, and body features durable and appealing materials.
The body, to begin with, is Lindenwood with X bracing, which enhances the sound produced. Its neck is pure mahogany with an added darkened finish. Also, the head stalk features closed diecast tuners to keep the pegs in shape and for long.
Fender provides competitive sound quality acoustic guitars. The Squier does not fail in this since it produces a loud and rich tone. Every note is balanced, and you will be sure to hear a person play the instrument several meters away.
Additionally, it is a high action guitar; hence, you may have to add a bit of punch to achieve the sound you want.
Instead of having to buy accessories separately, this guitar comes with everything you need. You will find a strap, an extra pair of strings, an electronic tuner, gig bag, three fender picks, and an instructional DVD. To any player, especially a beginner, this is an fantastic deal for a guitar of its price.
10. Antonio Giuliani Acoustic Mahogany Guitar
Though not a common household name, Antonio Giuliani acoustic guitar made it to our top ten. It is a great acoustic guitar with high-quality top spruce, laminated Sapele back and sides, and two strap buttons featured on the heel of the body and neck.
We can also note that this guitar comes features high-quality artisanship for a guitar of its caliber.
With the package, you will find extra gifts such as a gig bag, which has up to four compartments to store your accessories. It also comes with a good-looking strap, three unique guitar picks, a digital tuner, and two sets of strings.
You are also sure to get a lifetime warranty, which is something that most brands would rarely highlight within their package.
The Antonio Giuliani helps any player achieve a balanced tonal value in terms of sound produced. With the help of the X bracing on the body and a rosewood fingerboard, this is so possible.
Note that this guitar is a high action guitar. You might have to exert some extra pressure to achieve great sounds. Nonetheless, this guitar is useful for almost all techniques and genres. It is also a great gift for all players.
Best Acoustic Guitars under 500 Buying Guide
When you walk into a guitar shop and ask the salesperson for the best acoustic guitar, they’ll first ask you one crucial question:
“What’s your budget?”
If you want an instrument that is within the 500-dollar range, choosing the best one shouldn’t be as easy as you think. You’ll come across a plethora of options from different brands that can leave you undecided on the best one to solve your music needs.
So, for those wondering what factors they should consider, here’s a buying guide that can help you select the best acoustic guitar under 500.
What do you want to accomplish
You need to understand that each guitar comes with its unique personality in terms of construction and sound quality. Therefore, before you even start shopping or testing for a guitar, you need to know what kind of achievement you want to achieve with your guitar.
If you are a beginner, look for an acoustic guitar that sounds good. Make this a priority so that you can train your musical ear right from the word go. Also, with a good guitar, you are sure that you’ll be using it even when you advance your skills, or even when you become a gigging musician.
Therefore, to help you get it right, create a checklist. Envision yourself playing like your favourite guitarist, and look forward to buying a guitar that makes you sound like, or better than, them.
Look for a guitar with full sound
Nothing is as frustrating as a guitar that sounds awful. Such an instrument can demotivate you from playing and practising often.
Hence, if you are a beginner, you can ask someone proficient with guitars to take you to the guitar shop so that he or she can try out to find out if there are dead frets, if it stays in tune if the action is right, and if the intonation is regular.
When it comes to the action, get to know whether you can adjust it or not.
Apart from that, when it comes to sound, look for an acoustic guitar that offers fuller sound. By that, I mean, the bass, mids, and the lows should be audible. If it has a built-in pickup, test it on the amp to see if it offers the right amount of natural acoustics when playing on stage.
Inquire about accessories
Most manufacturers provide accessories for most guitars in this price range. Apart from the inbuilt pickups, accessories include gig bags, tuners (that is if the electronic pickup doesn’t have a tuner), extra strings, guitar picks, straps, and instructional DVDs.
These accessories kick starts your musical journey as soon as you get the guitar. It also saves you money, and for beginners, this is what you’d love to hear, right?
Go for comfort
As mentioned earlier, a guitar that sounds bad can discourage you from using it. The other thing that discourages people from practising is if the guitar is difficult to play or uncomfortable to use.
Therefore, examine the neck profile, size of the body and frets. If you have small hands, then going for a thinner neck makes it easy to play. The finish on the neck should also be superb to assist in smooth movements.
On the other hand, medium and jumbo frets are vital because it assists in simple movements from one fret to the next.
Review as many guitars as you’d like
It’s rather evident that most beginners will lean towards guitars from reputable brands. But let me shock you. There are lesser-known brands out there that offer great guitar models. Hence, don’t ignore any guitar that you find. It could be what you need.
Take your time, and check out different reviews online from experts, so that you can make a firm decision on the best guitar brand and model.
Last but IMPORTANT Tip:
In most cases, beginners and intermediate guitars will go for guitars within the 500-dollar range. However, it’s still possible to find advanced acoustic players going for such guitars; or even having a guitar in this price category in their guitar arsenal.
For that reason, ensure that you select the best acoustic guitar under 500 so that it can serve you even after advancing.
From the above article, we can observe several things. First, if you are to go for an acoustic guitar that is under $500, you may have to consider how it looks, the sound quality, and your need. Ensure that you think your needs first because that will help you select the best one from the full range of guitars provided on this list.
In our opinion, the Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar seems to be a great choice in this category. The instrument presents a distinguished autonomy and an experience that every player wants to have during practice time or a live performance.
On top of that, the guitar suits every player, and you can play it in different setups. Hence, a great acoustic instrument for someone who has a passion and a limited budget of anything below $500.